I’m here to chew gum and kick some ass and I’m all out of gum.
I’ve been spending hours this weekend watching and ruminating on the alarming and fascinating BBS documentary, “The Century Of The Self.” It’s a four hour exploration on the role of modern psychology in the realms of politics and business. The individual that casts the longest shadow over the course of the four-hour-epic is Edward Bernays (Scorpio). We briefly touched upon Bernays and his relationship with his uncle, Sigmund Freud (Taurus) in the previous post. Bernays was the first person to employ his uncles work in the “service” of marketing and big business, and was eventually ushered into the chambers of the ruling elite to help them understand the sub-conscious motivations of the masses and in turn govern over them by appealing to their desires, or heightening their fears.
The documentary chronicles one of Bernays’ greatest achievements, which was staging a coup in Guatemala to remove The President of Guatemala, General Arbenz, who was threatening to reclaim the country’s resources, especially it’s cash crop, which at that time was bananas. This made United Fruit, the largest grower and exporter of bananas very uncomfortable. The thought of Guatemala nationalizing fruit production and exportation at their expense was none-too-appealing. So they hired Bernays, who knew both through focus groups and the climate of the times that the greatest threat to the average US citizen at the time was Communism. The cold war was on and the red threat was ubiquitous. Bernays knew that if he could convince enough people that The Russians were going to turn Guatemala into a communist state, that just hundreds of miles from The US, the red threat would be a red reality. So he flew a group of journalists to Guatemala and fed them pure propaganda regarding Arbenz. He showed them Marxist art that he ascribed to the Arbenz regime, when in fact, it was created by artists hired by Bernays. He staged a large protest against Arbenz, using United Fruit workers, paying them to carry anti-communist, Arbenz signs, shout slogans, etc. By the time the journalists left Guatemala, they were convinced that The Latin Stalin was living right next door.
This couldn’t be further from the truth as Arbenz was a socialist democrat, but the wheels and then the presses were in motion. Out came the stories that painted Arbenz in a decidedly red light. There was enough fabricated furor that money was raised by congress and the senate to fund an insurgent force to oust Arbenz, which of course happened. United Fruit got its way and Bernays drafted a blueprint which is still employed to this day, often to perfection.
Eventually the film looks at how politics embraces Bernays’ approach, but only as it evolves through the likes of Wilhelm Reich, Fritz Perls, Abraham Maslow and Werner Erhard. These pivotal thinkers and therapists pioneered a different model of self-actualization, which was based on freeing and liberating the self from its fears, criticisms, guilt and pain. Unlike the Freudians who sought to tame, corral and restrain the primal urges that swirl beneath the surface of the psyche, and thought that by doing so, they could create socially responsible citizens willing to conform to democracy, The Post-Freudians saw a different type of self that could emerge, be more independent and self-governing, “individuated” as Jung would describe the typology.
But the problem was, was that these self-actualized types hatched out of incubators like Esalen, were not driven to purchase and consume in the same ways that people in the forties and the fifties did. As a result, they had to employ a new strategy to get inside their heads and employing intensive testing and research through Stanford Research Institute they found that these type-less-types actually could be identified and marketed to. In an odd twist of fate it was these self-actualized types, known as “The Inner Directeds” were pivotal in getting Reagan elected. Reagan went far beyond his conservative base and used language that connected to their sense of individuality. It was their buying into Reagans promise of limited government that inspired ex-radicals like Jerry Rubin to crossover to the dark side. The Reagan camp knew this and tailored their campaign to reach out to them.
The Clinton administration also employed deep psychology to get elected during his first term and then reached out to Dick Morris to take further advantage of knowing the dreams and aspirations of the public and acting upon them to get elected for a second term. The Tony Blair camp grafted exactly the same strategies that they had studied and learned from Dick Morris’ team in 1996 to get Blair and a “New Labour” elected.
So you might ask, what does all of this have to do with astrology? Plenty.
While Reagan and Clinton got elected on mostly secular platforms, the current Bush administration looked to the same models, tweaked them and injected them deeply into the psyche of The Christian Right, who were primed and ready to be served. This is crucial because it dovetails with three major aspects, one of which is still in play and currently being evoked with great success by The Obama campaign.
Neptune moved into Aquarius in February 28th of 1998, just a few short years before the pivotal election of 2000. It joined Uranus, halfway through it’s turn in Aquarius and the freshly minted Pluto in Sagittarius. The time was ripe for some old time religion to be re-cast in a new light.
Neptune in Aquarius on a mass level offers up the possibility of a spiritually transcendent social reality as well as deception on a mass level. Uranus in Aquarius is the linking up of the global network, the inception of cross-platforms and the rise of the power of The Net. Pluto in Sag is the shadow of fundamentalist faiths and ideologies and their rise to power. Combine all of those cosmic elements, layer them into the vast efforts of research and implementation that Bernays and his followers employed and what we had was a highly sophisticated campaign to not only move a block of voters into action, but engage them in public policy, fuse agendas and co-opt faith in such a way that foreign policy and the many faces of The Bush Doctrine was not only understood, but embraced as an extension of individual faith. It was programming of doctrinaire of immense sophistication.
Bushes speech writers were well aware of the fact that pastors of mega-churches like Ted Haggard and John Hagee had the ears of hundreds of thousands of Christian soldiers, armed and ready for armageddon. They had faith in God The Father, Jesus and Bush, their holy trinity and that since Bush was “born-again” they could trust whatever he did and go about tending to their own flocks. But running through the relationship between Bush and The Christian Right was a theme that employed Freudian principles in a religious context. . . Revelations.
Revelations might be the ultimate manifestation of Freud’s irrational fears–the end of the very world itself. But hold on! Lest you be one of those potential fence-sitters or back-sliders, we’re going to throw in the war to end all wars, pestilence, disease, famine and natural disasters. Not just the end of the world, but suffering and lots and lots of it. However! If you take Jesus Christ into your heart (and I am in no way advocating that you do not do this) you will have a chance to be saved, lifted up off of this plane and able to witness the end of it all from a luxury box in heaven. “The Rapture” is the get out of jail free card, but it also insures faith and most of all trust, unquestionable trust. Therein lies the reward so by being a good Christian and a good citizen, theoretically, the odds of being on The Rapture express are greatly increased. The price of the roundtrip to heaven and 10,000 of years of peace with a Jesus party on Earth is nothing less than total obedience.
This ideology which was so typified by Pluto in Sag and its religious extremism, wrapped in a deceptive, hyper-inflated version of salvation, was not the soul province of The Christian Right during that time. In fact, what we witnessed was something akin to the formation of an entirely new faith, one that stressed the end times drama of Revelations with the hardcore, almost extremist ideology of The Old Testament, which, when coupled together, transformed Christ from a loving, venerable and forgiving force, to a vengeful, ass kicking, son of God. Jesus Rambo. What was Jesus Rambos’ role? Well to smote the unrepentant Jews of course! Pluto in Sag/Neptune in Aquarius launched Zionist-Christianity into the realm of new believers with a shocking velocity.
One of the symbols that arose out of this disparate fusion was The Star Of David with a cross in the middle. Israel and The Holy Land became venerated by Hagee, Falwell, Pat Robertson and other leaders on The Christian Right. Their programs and networks would often run fundraisers for Israel to sponsor Russian Jews to relocate there. These powerful tele-vangelists literally reshaped Christianity in a few short years thanks to cable tv networks and the internet. They curried favor with Israeli PMs and with the insertion of The Neocon cabinet in The Bush White House, they had a direct link to some of the most powerful men on the planet. which in turn elevated their status in their own communities, which allowed them to raise more money from their followers.
In the mythology of The Christian end times, it is critical for Israel to exist as a separate entity, not a two-state-solution, because, Revelations will only come if Israel stands alone. World War III and armageddon only occur if Israel doesn’t play nice and share with Palestine. Here’s the kicker, Rambo Jesus comes back and orders The Jews to repent and if they don’t, cinders and ash on the house! This death-cult ideology, all arose with warp speed during the time of Uranus/Neptune in Aquarius and Pluto in Sag.
Bush would often use codewords and catch phrases, like “works of wonder” that Ted Haggard would also use in a sermon and then pass along to Bush in weekly phone conferences. It’s like they were stacking the deck by triggering an automatic recognition and trust between Bush and The Christian Right, using the very same language. Bush was also regularly photographed with a nimbus or halo around his head, conferring even more religious symbolism upon him, activating all of the conditioning, past and present in the faithful. I could only imagine what it must have been like to be a fundementalist/dispensationalist Christian and listen to Bush use these phrases as holy code, like he was speaking directly to you, to be clued in on some grand religious plan, the drama of the ages and you were in on it. You were, in some ways, very, very, very special. It must have been a real rush and no matter what happened, like torture, or spying, or lying about starting a war, or watching your mortgage go through the roof, it didn’t matter–those were all worldly concerns–there was something much bigger happening and you were part of it. Even the arch and cynical Bernays would have been duly impressed.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at how Barack Obama and his team are employing many of the same techniques to great effect for another group of voters, during the last few months of Pluto in Sag and the final push of Neptune in Aquarius.